Does God make people suffer?
THE EDITOR, Sir:
If a person suffers, does it mean that God is punishing that person? What do the Scriptures indicate? Job was an outstandingly righteous man. Job 1:1. Yet Job suffered a lot at the hands of the Devil. Job 1:12, 14-19; Job 2:7. God did not make Job suffer.
Stephen was stoned to death. (Acts 7:58-60) The apostle Paul faced many hardships, too. (2 Corinthians 11:23-27) Other servants of God faced difficulties, too, as shown at Hebrews 11:35-37. Are we to imagine that these godly persons were punished by God?
Job 34:10 and James 1:13 prove that God does not do what is wicked. He does not bring trials or sufferings on people. God allows people, including his servants, to go through trials/sufferings but he is NOT the cause of the trials. He helps his servants to cope. (2 Corinthians 4:7; Philippians 4:13)
Furthermore, Ecclesiastes 9:11 says that "time and chance happeneth to them all". So people, being at a certain location at a certain time, may suffer because of some disaster striking in that location. God is not responsible for such happenings.